Mike fortunato

Mike Fortunato of
MTV's Catfish Passes
Away at 26

Courtesy of MTV

Earlier this week, MTV announced the sad news that Mike Fortunato, who was featured on the reality series Catfish, passed away last Saturday in Connecticut after suffering from a pulmonary embolism. He was 26 years old.

In a statement, an MTV spokesperson confirmed the death.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of Michael Fortunato," it said. "Our condolences, thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time."

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Mike was featured an episode in which he met Ashley Sawyer, 20, his online girlfriend of seven years.

While their episode, which aired during the show's second season, may have made it seem that their relationship status was still ambiguous, Ashley told MTV news that the two were "definitely moving forward" and "very much in love..”

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Nev Schulman, the host of the show, took to Twitter to express his condolences.

“I didn’t know him well, but feel lucky to have known him at all,” he wrote.  “A great guy and even better friend. He will be missed.”

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While Nev never got the chance to know Mike better, Ashley, when speaking to MTV news, confirmed that Mike truly was a special guy.

"He would give anybody the last shirt he had—anything," she said. "He would put his life on hold just to make sure other people moved forward. He always put people first."